This article doesn’t mention it, but the GSPC is also the only group outside of Afghanistan to accept Mullah Omar as caliph. “Algerian terror group tries to tap into global ‘jihad,'” from The Associated Press, :
ALGIERS, Algeria: An Algerian rebel group’s recently confirmed allegiance with al-Qaida shows the outfit is looking to exploit international links after being cornered by security forces at home, analysts say.
Experts who have long followed the security situation in Algeria said the Salafist Group for Call and Combat, known by its French acronym GSPC, isn’t capable now of the kind of large-scale attacks on Western targets that al-Qaida calls for “” but the GSPC could try to expand into such attacks to stay afloat.
“I think (the GSPC) are now in the process of playing their last card … that is to say the al-Qaida card,” said Hamida Ayachi, who has reported extensively on Algerian militant groups and now runs the Algerian daily Djazair News.
Al-Qaida announced its union with the GSPC for the first time in a video posted on the Internet in September to mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, said he hoped the alliance would work against Western interests, singling out the United States and France, which colonized Algeria.
The GSPC had pledged its allegiance to al-Qaida as early as 2003, and reaffirmed this position in a statement dated Sept. 13.
The shift in strategy so far appears to be a propaganda campaign carried out largely on the Internet, aimed at gaining credibility, recruits and funds, Ayachi said.
The GSPC is the only substantial group left from an Islamic insurgency that was triggered in 1992 when the Algerian army stepped in to prevent a likely election victory by the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front.
The group is now thought to number just a few hundred fighters concentrated in the mountainous northeastern region of Kabylia.
Despite their small numbers, scattered attacks blamed on the GSPC are reported nearly every week.